My Path

I had a strange upbringing
As a child -
My father was Catholic;
My mother, Buddhist;
My grandmother, Christian.
I was a wild child who ran
With dreams I made myself.
I lived in blind contentment then
Under my mother's Owl Eyes –
She knew I was a good child;
I'm sure she saw my future
In my eyes.
Yet I was still unknowing,
As children often are.
I was, in a way, oblivious,
Trapped in a mound
I didn't even realize

But I might have just been feigning it.

I knew from the start I was
Different -
Reading novels at four
And textbooks at six.
It made me into Jerry,
Always outcast.
It was a source of pain,
Pain amplified by panic
(I saw a shrink for that -
Generalized Anxiety).
I felt like Frankenstein's monster:
An outcast, pointless speck
On existence,
And I went by many names,
And all their arrows stabbed me
Through the heart.

I wanted to understand.

But it made me strong and willful,
These constant criticisms
Until I felt nothing at all.
A Novocane narcotic
That, like Lucifer's layer,
Froze me solid.
And then a rift
Began to form
Between father and mother
Over worthless liquid gold.
Such Promethean monsters
Haunted me (their creator?),
But I endured.
Such is how my
Middle-School years passed.

Strong and afraid.

And in the rift, my siblings
The two opposite polestars
Hid with me,
And I saw they were afraid.
And father took the car keys,
And mother wouldn't let him,
So I hid them.
And behind the bedroom door
Came an answer,
Sounding like "No"
As lightning streaked
A red sky –
We ran,
And like Solomon's Son in the Song,
I wished to fly.

Milkman's family has nothing on mine.

And music was my passion.
Music of the night
And day,
Hard as lightning,
Soft as candlelight.
And Oboe was my passion,
A liquid-sounding buzz
That echoes across time:

And the liquid is rapidly buzzing,
And I lose myself into it;
It is my personal Angel
Of Music, my Guide and Guardian.
Band and Marching Band
I lived for
Even in rocky times.

It was my Balm, my Mooring.

The stage became my home,
Both field to march
And stage to expose me.
I touch the dramatique:
Thespian blood runs through me;
I am a trickster clown
With theatric tastes,
All smiles and verdant hair
Without the Bat
Or evil streak.
Or so I'd like to think.
And theater proved me right.
And like the mockingbird
With wings strong enough,
I soared through it.
I am Edna,
I am no Mother-Woman.

Watch me soar.

And then my grandfather died.
Cancer, that word of dread
Seemed to open a sore
And close the valve
And I retreated to my
Dr. Nut, my Big Chief.
I turned to poetry,
To the rhythm and rhyme of poetry.
It soothed me like a psalm.
"Praise God
From whom all blessings
Flow," it cries,
Even if it isn't about God
Or even remotely about Christ.
I guess I felt like God
While writing -
It took me seven days,
Seven days to build it,
And now its words speak to the world.
I can pore its pages,
And read its words.

And I see that it is good.

My Grandfather died,
But never forgot.
He returned to me, but
Not to cry "Murder
Most foul!"
Instead, he returned
To say that he loved me,
That he always would love me
Even in eternity.
And it scared me to feel
The pressure on my bedside
From where he sat,
But the sounds from
The clock told me that
He meant no ill will.
The heartbeat meant something
His dead tongue could not say:
"I love you."
And like Hamlet before me,
I turned to introspection
And knew it was truth.
Alas, my poor grandfather,
I knew him, the fellow
Of infinite jest that
He was.

I keep his ballcap nearby.

And now I stand
And reflect
Upon all this -
My life
This madness
This delightful delirium.
My memories are borne
Back ceaselessly to the past,
But my eyes see the future.
I'm going to college,
I'm studying science.
I'm going to do great things,
Or so they say.
But I already have.
My life is a great thing,
A masterpiece.

There is not a single thing I'd change.

I stand on a cliff top,
Overlooking the valley
Of Ashes I've traversed.
From them rises a woman,
Her head only, though.
Her gaze is towards the horizon,
Her eyes towards the future.
Towards me.
She bears a strange banner
Upon her head.
It carries many symbols.
In twenty years,
Shall I see as
She does?